A Day in the Life of a Certified Wedding Planner
Certified wedding planner, Amira Harris, is one of QC Event School’s leading tutors for the Destination Wedding Planning Course. She is also the proud owner and destination wedding specialist of Aisle Travel™. Based in Calgary, Alberta Canada, Amira’s business provides Canadian couples with full group travel services, destination wedding planning, and customized wedding group experiences.
Today, I will walk you through what a typical day looks like for me as a certified wedding planner. Not a typical wedding day, mind you. Rather, I’m here to show you what a standard office day looks like. After all, there’s more to being a wedding planner than simply making magic happen on the day of the wedding. Most of the real work is done behind-the-scenes during the time leading up to it.
My Day as a Certified Wedding Planner (in a Nutshell)
If I’m working at my home office, my day usually starts at 8:00am with an extra large coffee and a pair of comfy clothes. By “comfy clothes”, I’m talking leggings, a t-shirt, no make-up, and messy hair (usually thrown up into a bun). Sure, it might not be pretty but it gets the job done.
On the days I work at home, I don’t see clients. Those days, I find I can really keep my head down and plow through work. I also have my sweet dog and assistant, Lucky, close by for some doggy cuddles throughout the day. I try to always finish my workday by 5:00pm, since a work/life balance is very important to me.
However, it doesn’t always work that way – especially in peak season. But when it’s not my busy time, I do shut down by my set time and use the evening to spend quality time with my family. Every certified wedding planner NEEDS to unplug and take advantage of the quiet when they can.
A Breakdown of My Typical Duties as a Certified Wedding Planner
Every workday, the first thing I do is look at my task list. I always create this list at the end of the previous day so that it’s ready for the following day. Creating this list the day before helps keep me organized. It also gives me insight of how much work needs to be done, so I can properly prepare myself.
By having a task list ready to go each day, I can hold myself accountable and remain on track. I always start on the smallest tasks first before checking my emails and voicemails. The large tasks will be done throughout the day. I usually start on one of my larger tasks after I’ve viewed my emails.
Keeping Up with Correspondence
I’ll listen to my voicemails and take note of who needs to be called back (and when). Once I finish that, I then conquer my emails. Some days, my emails can be overwhelming! On those days, I take a deep breath and just get to it. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with emails, one tip I recommend is batching them into groups. This can make them feel easier to handle and reduce anxiety.
During a typical office day, I typically spend up to two hours reading and responding to emails. I’ll prioritize all urgent, pressing matters and reply to those first. Then I reply to all client emails, as well as emails that I can provide quick answers for off the top of my head. Everything else that requires research or planning work, I just leave in my inbox until that required work has been completed.
Most days, once I’ve gone through my emails, I’ll then start on my other tasks that were on my list. At that point, I’ll also add any new duties that I might now have (as a result of the emails). I’ll also return some phone calls at this point, if needed.
Time to Get to Work!
The type of work I need to do during a typical office day will depend on the event I’m putting together and what stage of the planning process I’m at. For example, my day can consist of conducting research for some of the emails I handled earlier. I’ll likely also work on my client’s files. Depending on where we’re at in the planning cycle, that work can also potentially include:
- Putting a budget together;
- Developing a planning timeline;
- Securing vendors;
- Contacting resorts;
- Reviewing airline invoices;
- Or anything else that may need to be done for a client at that point.
The closer to the wedding date, the more a certified wedding planner like myself needs to do. I usually work on these tasks until mid-afternoon. Then I take a break to eat a quick snack or take my dog for a walk. Taking regular breaks is critical during a typical office day! It gives your brain a chance to recharge and it gives you a chance to breathe.
After My Break…
I check my emails again. This is when I’ll reply to the ones where I needed to do some research and/or provide my clients information and documents for their weddings. I also reply to any new emails that may have come in that require a quick response. Personally, when I’m working, I don’t have my email open. I find that it can be very distracting otherwise, and I like to keep focused with the tasks at hand.
This approach might not for everyone, but it’s worth trying if you get a lot of emails and feel you’re getting unnecessarily sidetracked by them. Not having your email open constantly does require some discipline. No matter how swamped you are, you’ll need to be able to remind yourself to check them periodically throughout the day. However, I find it works great for me and I get a lot more work done this way.
Wrapping Up the Day
At the end of the day, I review all of the tasks that were done. I then put a task list together for the next day. As I mentioned earlier, this helps a great deal to set myself up for success. Not to mention, it feels good to reflect back on what you have accomplished that day, while also knowing what still needs to be completed.
A Little Tip When Working from Home
When working from home, I find that my office is incredibly quiet and isolated from the rest of my house. Because of this, I like something in the background while I work. I’ll usually listen to a podcast while I’m working on planning tasks for my clients or doing the research that’s needed to respond to emails. Depending on the day, the podcast topics range from weddings, travelling, or just some feel-good inspiration. It all depends on my mood, but I love podcasts while working or driving.
So long as a little background noise won’t completely distract you from your responsibilities, you might find that it can help relax you and mellow out your at-home work environment.
Being a Certified Wedding Planner: Food for Thought
Now that I have given you a peak into my day, hopefully you see that there’s actually a lot of work that goes into being a certified wedding planner. The truth is, doing the backend preparation for an event or wedding is just like any other work. Yes, this job will allow you to get out, meet people, and put together an exciting celebration. But none of this can be done until the ‘desk work’ is completed first.
Don’t get me wrong, though: the times when you do get to see your clients at consultations and on the big day absolutely makes all the hard office work pay off!
Happy planning. Stay safe. xo